Saturday, January 10, 2009

Team Diarrhea to the Rescue

Bill Marler passes on links that reveal that Minnesota's disease investigators appeared to have cracked another salmonella case. Here is coverage from the Star Tribune. The lede:

Minnesota disease investigators once again may have solved the riddle of a nation-wide salmonella outbreak. This time the culprit is peanut butter.

Here is a post from Marler's blog, again highlighting the need for federal and state agencies to work together better and asking the question: Change is coming, right?

1 comment:

Bill Marler said...

People get Salmonella Typhimurium from eating Peanut Butter, Minnesota points the finger at King Nut, who points the finger at Peanut Corporation of America, so what is next?

Minnesota Department of Health announces late Friday that the have linked thirty illnesses ( and a death) to the consumption of King Nut Peanut Butter (and Parnell's Pride?). There is nothing on the CDC website or other State Health Department sites naming names - yet. On Saturday King Nut and the FDA jointly release a recall notification, but King Nut blames the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) for its problem. PCA’s lawyers write a press release that tries to deny as much as possible.

So, what is next? Here are a few ideas (not in any particular order) that the companies involved and the government should do Monday morning:

1. Make sure ALL product is promptly recalled;

2. Do not destroy any documents;

3. The companies should pay the medical bills and all related expenses of the innocent victims and their families;

4. The companies should pay the cost of all related Health Department, CDC and FDA investigations;

5. Provide all bacterial and viral testing of all recalled product and any other tested product (before and after recall);

6. Release all inspection reports on the plants by any Governmental Entity or Third-party Auditor;

7. Release all Salmonella safety precautions taken by either King Nut or Peanut Corporation of America - especially after the 2007 Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak;

8. Provide the public with the Epidemiological investigation (with names redacted), so it is clear who knew what and when about the likely source of the outbreak; and,

9. Show the public what is being done to prevent the next outbreak.

Taking these steps will go a long way in convincing us that food safety and consumer confidence is of primary importance both to the companies and the government.